A Comprehensive Guide of Essential Fishing Boat Accessories

Maya Brown

June 22, 2023


Are you an avid fisherman looking to equip your vessel with all the amenities crucial for a great day out on the water? Look no further – here’s the ultimate guide with all the best fishing boat accessories you could possibly need. Whether it’s extra storage space, cleaning supplies, or mounting brackets for your sonar device, having these items by your side can help make your experience much more efficient. So, let’s gear up!

The list of items you should bring with you is basically endless, but there are things you simply can’t go without. That includes safety gear such as life jackets and first aid kits, as well as communication devices such as GPS and marine VHF radio. Anchoring, maintenance, and lightning items are also a must. Last but not least, don’t forget your angling gear!

What Exactly Are Fishing Boat Accessories?

Fishing boat accessories are equipment or items that can be added to enhance the boat’s functionality or convenience. These items can range from simple and small fishing boat accessories such as rod holders to advanced technology such as trolling motors and GPS systems.

Why Do You Need Boat Accessories for Fishing?

Having the right gear can make or break your fishing experience, no matter if you’re a beginner angler or a seasoned fisherman. For example, holders for your fishing rods allow you to be hands-free if necessary, while navigation lights ensure that you are visible to other boaters while angling at night.

Moreover, certain items like anchors or life jackets are essential for staying safe while out there on the water. All these handy pieces of equipment will not only make your trip more efficient and productive, but they will also guarantee your safety during the whole ordeal.

fisherman fishing from the boat
There are plenty of accessories to make your boating experience safe and efficient

There Are Safety Boat Fishing Accessories

No matter if you’re an experienced sailor or a first-time boater, safety should always be your number one priority. Boats can be unpredictable and dangerous if not handled properly, especially during rough weather conditions. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of safety gear available on the market, so here are some essential items you need to purchase.

Life Jackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are designed to keep individuals afloat in the water and provide buoyancy in case of an accident, which can be crucial in preventing drowning. They come in different sizes and types, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

You can go for the standard Airhead Adult Type II Keyhole Life Jacket, which is approved by the US Coast Guard, or if you’re looking for something more durable and high-quality, I’d recommend the O’Brien Mens Traditional Neoprene Life Jacket. In most states, having these items on board is required by law, so consider purchasing them as important as getting your boating license.

Emergency Locator Beacons

Emergency locator beacons, or ELBs for short, are devices used to signal for rescue in the case of an emergency. They offer a way to communicate distress signals to the closest authorities, even when a boat’s communication equipment has failed.

I personally use the ACR ResQLink View not only for boating trips but for other outdoor activities as well. With a bit of luck, you won’t have to use it once in your angling career, but it’s still important to have it by your side for peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens, there will be a safe outcome.

Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon EPIRB on ship
In cases of emergency, this accessory can be a lifesaver

First Aid Kit

No matter how careful you are, life on the sea is unpredictable – accidents can happen at any time, and having a well-stocked first aid kit can help to minimize the severity of injuries sustained while waiting for medical attention. A good first aid kit should include basic items, such as:

  • Sterile gauze pads,
  • Various sizes of adhesive bandages,
  • Antiseptic wipes or solution,
  • Adhesive tape,
  • Burn ointment or gel,
  • Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

I usually recommend the WELL-STRONG Waterproof First Aid Kit because it’s sufficiently equipped for most vessels and types of boating excursions. However, if you’re sailing a particularly large boat, or planning to stay on the water for a long time, keep in mind that you’ll probably need to upgrade this setup with a couple of additional items for extra safety.

Fire Extinguisher

Fires can start quickly and spread rapidly on boats, making it crucial to have a reliable means of extinguishing them before they get out of control. They’re rated based on the type of fire they can put out, including electrical or fuel fires, so it’s important to choose the right one for your vessel.

Additionally, the size and number of fire extinguishers required will depend on the size of your boat and its intended use, so make sure to check the local regulations to ensure compliance.

Navigation Lights

Navigation lights are essential safety equipment for any angler that is interested in some night fishing action, as they help improve visibility out there on the water. It’s best to go for LED lights, such as the Boaton Marine Boat Navigation Lights, as they’re usually the more durable option that will ensure safe passage for years to come.

Catching a fish at night
When angling at night, you need plenty of devices to improve visibility

You Should Also Have Communication Accessories

In addition to emergency locator beacons, there are other safety items for communication that can be used to call for help in case of an emergency or to stay in touch with other boaters or authorities.

These devices can provide critical information such as weather updates, navigational data, or important notifications from marinas or other boaters, so it’s important to ensure that they are in good working order and well-maintained at all times.

Marine VHF Radio

Devices such as the Cobra MR HH350 FLT Handheld Floating VHF Radio are unavoidable items you need to have on board, as they are used to communicate with other boaters, marinas, and authorities, as well as to receive weather updates and navigational information.

Cell Phone Mounts and Waterproof Cases

As you’re most probably bringing your cell phone with you, it’s good to have a waterproof case, as well as a phone mount, to keep your device secure and prevent it from falling overboard. If you’re taking the right precautions and following regulations, you’ll have plenty of other communication devices to use in the case of an emergency, but why not save your phone from any accidental splashes if it’s as easy as getting a waterproof case?

Whistle or Air Horn

A whistle or air horn is another simple yet effective item that can be used to alert other boaters in an emergency situation, as both options are useful for drawing attention to your location or signaling for help.

Signal Mirror

Another effective tool for finding help in case of emergency is the Luca Elf Aid Signal Mirror, which can be used to reflect sunlight over long distances to draw attention to your location. These items are very small and can be carried in your pocket, and they can also be useful for other purposes, such as checking for obstructions when navigating in shallow waters.

Handheld GPS or Fishfinder

Last but not least, GPS and fishfinders are definitely unavoidable components of your boating setup, as they will help you navigate waterways, locate specific destinations, and chart routes. They can also provide information on speed, distance, and time to destination, as well as be your helping hand in landing plenty of common fish species. So, why not kill two birds with one stone and get an all-inclusive device such as the Garmin GPS Fishfinder?

Get Anchoring and Docking Accessories as Well

Items such as anchors, ropes, lines, cleats, fenders, and bumpers, are essential equipment for any boat, no matter if you’re looking for fiberglass or aluminum fishing boat accessories. These objects are used to secure the vessel in place, and they ensure that the boat remains stable and secure while stationary, even in rough weather conditions.

Anchors and Anchor Lines

The anchor is typically made of metal and is dropped into the water, using its weight to hold the vessel in place, and the anchor line is then attached to it and used to secure the boat. It’s important to choose the correct size and type for your vessel.

If you’re planning to tread the usual rivers and lakes, I recommend the Young Marine Portable Galvanized Fluke Style Anchor Kit, as you’ll get everything you need in one product. It also comes in three different sizes, which makes it suitable for most vessels.

Dock Lines and Mooring Ropes

Dock lines and mooring ropes are used to secure a boat or ship to a dock or buoy. These lines are typically made of durable materials such as nylon or polyester and come in different lengths and thicknesses, depending on the size of the vessel and the conditions of the water. The aforementioned kit also includes a nylon dock line, but you can also purchase it separately.

Anchor Windlass or Winch

An anchor windlass or winch is a mechanical device that is used to raise and lower the anchor on a boat or ship. It’s typically located on the bow of the vessel and can be operated manually or electrically.

While some fishermen prefer to do the heavy lifting themselves, having an Electric Anchor Winch makes it easier and more efficient to deploy and retrieve the anchor, especially in deep or rough waters while hunting for some common saltwater species.

Fenders and Bumpers

If you wish to keep your vessel extra safe from damage while docked or moored, consider getting fenders and bumpers. Fenders are typically made of inflatable materials such as PVC or rubber that you place between the boat and the dock. Bumpers are usually made of solid materials, such as plastic or foam, and they’re attached to the sides of the vessel to prevent damage from collisions with other boats or objects.

Boat Hooks and Poles

Boat hooks or poles are not the same as fish hooks or your average fishing rods – these items are used to retrieve objects that have fallen into the water or to maneuver the boat or ship safely in tight spaces. I recommend the EVERSPROUT Telescoping Boat Hook – this handy device will easily retrieve just about anything that fell overboard.

Anchored boat on a body of water
Items for securing your vessel in place are must-have accessories

Fishing Gear Storage and Organization Accessories Are a Must

You might feel like these items aren’t necessary, but storage and organization accessories help to maximize space and keep your stuff secure and easily accessible. Moreover, proper organization and storage can also improve safety by preventing loose items from shifting during rough waters or high speeds.

Tackle Boxes and Tackle Bags

Tackle boxes are typically made of durable materials such as plastic or metal and have compartments or trays for storing lures and baits, hooks, lines, and other fishing equipment. The bags are similar but are made of fabric and have pockets or pouches for storing gear.

I personally prefer using tackle boxes as I find it easier to organize my gear, and my TRUSCEND Fishing Lures Accessories Kit with Tackle Box has been a trusted companion on numerous boating trips in the past few years.

Rod Holders and Racks

No matter what your preferred angling technique is, having fishing rod holders and racks is a good way to keep this essential piece of equipment secure and accessible while treading the waters.

While both options come in various sizes and styles to accommodate different types of rods and personal preferences, racks such as the KastKind V15 Vertical Rod Rack are the best choice if you’re looking for something that can hold multiple rods at once.

Baitwell or Livewell

Baitwells are typically aerated compartments to keep baitfish alive and healthy, while livewells are designed to hold caught fish before they are cleaned or released back into the water. There are plenty of options available, from plastic to fiberglass containers, and they come in different sizes and capacities depending on how abundant you’re planning your trip to be.

Cooler or Insulated Bag

Your typical boating trip shouldn’t be only about getting your target species caught on your fish hook – you have to find time to snack or enjoy a cold beverage while taking in the beautiful sights as well. Don’t forget to bring a cooler or insulated bag to keep the food and drinks nice and fresh throughout your trip.

Storage Compartments and Containers

While storage compartments are typically built-in and located throughout the vessel, there are containers you can purchase separately if you need additional storage for life jackets, ropes, and other fishing gear. Also, if you’re worried about what to do with the trash, I recommend getting the reusable Gydoty Boat Trash Bag Can.

A person holds a fishing lure
It’s important to stay organized on your boating excursions

Cool Fishing Boat Accessories Include Comfort and Convenience Stuff

Sure, functionality is crucial, but it’s also important to be comfortable throughout your boating excursion. Luckily, there are plenty of items that can make your vessel feel just as cozy as your home.

Boat Seats and Cushions 

Seats and cushions are a great way to provide additional comfort and support, especially during long trips. I’ve purchased a few Alpcour Folding Stadium Seats, and I can’t recommend them enough – they are super comfortable and versatile, so you can use them wherever you are.

Bimini Top or Boat Umbrella 

During those long summer days, it’s essential to have some shade and protection from the sun while boating. Bimini tops or boat umbrellas are super useful in that regard, no matter if you opt for freestanding models or the ones attached to the vessel with a mount or clamp.

Cup Holders and Drink Coolers

I’ve already stressed the importance of having a cooler or an insulated bag to keep the food and drinks nice and fresh. But if you want to take an extra step and provide the ultimate convenience for yourself, it’s also a good idea to purchase some cup holders and drink coolers. After all, there’s nothing quite like a refreshing beverage while out on the wide, open sea!

Portable Toilet

Well, there’s no going around it – having a portable toilet on board is essential, especially if you’re planning to take long trips. I recommend the Camco Portable Toilet, as it’s super convenient, compact, and lightweight, making it easy to transport and store on your vessel.

Sunscreen and Bug-Repellent Holders 

Sunscreen and bug-repellent holders can be a great way to store these protective solutions and keep them easily accessible while boating. Who knows, maybe having them around will help in reminding you to apply them more often, which is super important, especially during summer.

Consider Getting Electrical and Lighting Accessories

I’ve already talked about the importance of having navigation lights on board, but there are also other items that are essential for maintaining safety and visibility while on the water, as well as keeping all of that electrical power in order.

Marine Batteries and Battery Charges

Marine batteries and charges are essential components of any boating electrical system, no matter if you’re planning on some nighttime saltwater angling or not. Products such as the Renogy 12V 30A Charger are designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and provide power for starting the engine, running electronics, and other onboard systems.

Underwater Lights

Not only do the underwater lights enhance the overall aesthetics, but they also serve a functional purpose by illuminating the water below your vessel. Additionally, they can attract fish, making it easier and more exciting to reel in your dinner.

LED Deck Lights

Similar to underwater lights, LED deck lights are a convenient accessory, providing both functionality and aesthetics. These lights can be installed on the deck railing or floor and offer a soft, inviting glow that adds a cozy ambiance to any setting.

Power Inverter

A power inverter is an electrical device that can convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), and it’s really convenient to have in any outdoor setting. I personally use the POTEK 1500W Power Inverter, and it has never let me down. They also come in various sizes and power outputs, allowing you to choose one that fits your specific needs.

Modern open bowrider motor boat with 150 hp powerful outboard motorboat
Having lights will make the fishing adventure safer and more enjoyable

There Are Some Essential Fishing Accessories

No matter if your preferred angling style is trolling, bottom-dwelling, or fly fishinghaving the right equipment for landing your target makes all the difference. So, think about what kind of fish you’re hoping to catch during your trip, and gather everything you need for the job.

Fishing Rods and Reels

Angling rods and reels come in various sizes and types, each suited to different techniques and species. Maybe you’ll go for the Okuma Ceymar rod or the Daiwa BG reel, or you’ll bring various lightweight rods to try out your luck with some nymph fly fishing. No matter your preference, good-quality gear should always be durable and smooth enough to handle the fish you’re after.

Fishing Tackle and Lures

No angling setup is complete without some baits and lures attached to your fish hook. Here are some of the most commonly used lures, along with the fish species they’re suitable for:

Lure Type Fish Species
Spinnerbaits Bass, Pike, Muskie, Walleye, Trout
Crankbaits Bass, Pike, Muskie, Walleye, Trout
Jigs Bass, Pike, Walleye, Trout, Panfish
Flies Trout, Salmon, Bass, Panfish
Topwater Baits Bass, Pike, Muskie, Trout

Fishing Nets and Gaffs

Nets and gaffs are important tools for anglers who want to bring in larger fish or those that are difficult to catch with your average angling rod. I recommend the PLUSINNO Floating Fishing Net, as it’s suitable for most species, from bass to salmon.

Fishing Fillet Knife

Once you’ve landed your catch, it’s time to clean the fish and prepare it for dinner, so it’s useful to have a fillet knife on board. These knives are designed to be razor-sharp and have a flexible blade, making it easy to remove the skiing and bones from the fish.

Fish Grippers and Scales

If you want to accurately measure and weigh your catch, you might want to consider getting fish grippers or scales. These items are also important for safely handling the catch, and they come in various sizes and types, so you should be able to find your perfect match no matter what fish you’re targeting.

Maintenance and Safety Equipment Are Always Welcomed

While it might seem like the experienced fishermen you’ve learned some angling slang from are not particularly enthusiastic about maintenance and cleaning, proper upkeep of your vessel ensures that everything remains in good working condition and is safe for use.

Bilge Pump

A bilge pump is used to pump out water that accumulates in the lowest part of a boat’s hull, so it’s an essential piece of equipment. There are manual pumps, but I prefer to use the Attwood 4505-7 Sahara S500 Automatic Bilge Pump, as it’s simply less hassle to deal with.

Boat Cover or Tarp

A cover or tarp is an essential protective covering that is used to shield your vessel from the elements when it is not in use. Go for one that’s made from durable materials and fits your boat perfectly, and it’ll be of great help in keeping your trusty angling companion clean and dry.

Spare Propeller

If your boat’s propeller becomes damaged or breaks down, it can leave you stranded in the middle of the water. Having a spare one on board can help you avoid this scenario and continue with your journey, so consider it a crucial part of your setup.

Boat Cleaning Supplies

The harsh marine environment can cause dirt, grime, and salt buildup on the boat’s surface, which can lead to corrosion and damage if left untreated. So, bring the cleaning supplies listed below and make sure you use them regularly:

  • Specifically formulated boat soap,
  • All-purpose cleaner,
  • Deck brush,
  • Soft bristle brush,
  • Microfiber cloths,
  • Boat polish,
  • Non-skid cleaner,
  • Glass cleaner.

Tool Kit

Boating often requires some level of basic maintenance, repair, and emergency fixes, so having a well-stocked tool kit on board can help you tackle these tasks with ease. I use the Great Neck 191 Piece Marine Tool Set, and I’ve found that this handy kit is more than enough to keep my vessel threading the waters.

A man fishing on a boat
Maintenance is a big part of boating, so don’t forget to bring all the necessary supplies

Get All the Goods and Have a Safe and Fun Fishing Trip

There you have it – everything you would possibly need while out there on the water, from lifejackets to tool kits. If you’re well-equipped for your boating trip, you’ll be able to deal with any mishaps that might occur. So get out there and take it all in – the fresh air, crystal clear waters, and, above all, the absolute joy that comes with this sport!